MLB Trade Deadline: 7 Players Who Look the Weirdest in Their New Uniforms
It's been almost a week since the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline expired. A flurry of moves were made up until the July 31, 4:00 p.m. EST deadline.
Contenders acquired the pieces they felt were needed for a playoff run. And teams who are out of the race refurbished their respective farm systems.
Now that we are into August, we can focus on how these players are faring on their new ball clubs. We can also look at how weird it is to see them in their new uniforms.
Hunter Pence: Philadelphia Phillies
The Houston Astros are in a state of chaos. As they entered last Sunday's trade deadline, they had a record of 35-72. And, their top three teams of their farm system were a combined 60 games under .500 for the season. The Astros needed help.
So, in an effort to revamp their farm, the 'Stros dealt former top-prospect Hunter Pence to the Philadelphia Phillies. The talented outfielder provides the Phils with a much-needed right-handed bat to complement lefties Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez—something they've lacked since Jayson Werth departed for Washington DC.
Fans in Houston were undoubtedly hoping that Pence was going to be a life-long Astro. A modern day Bagwell/Biggio type. For certain, the baseball world was getting used to seeing Pence in an Astros uniform, since his initial call-up in 2007. Now, Phillies' fans will get used to seeing him protect the big guns in the lineup for several more years to come.
Ubaldo Jimenez: Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians made arguably the biggest blockbuster deal this trading season, when they acquired right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez from the Rockies. Though Jimenez hasn't been as unhittable as he was at this time last year, just his presence alone makes the Indians a legitimate threat in the AL Central.
To acquire him, the Tribe gave up a package of four prospects. His numbers this year are inflated from last year, but perhaps, pitching away from Coors Field will do him good going forward.
It seems strange seeing Jimenez in a different uniform than the grey and purple Rockies' garb. But we'd better get used to seeing him in the Indians' red and blue.
His current contract is guaranteed until after the 2012 season. The Indians now hold a $5.75 million club option for 2013 and an $8 million option for 2014 (Jimenez can void this option, now that he has been traded).
Carlos Beltran: San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants acquired the big, middle-of-the-order bat they've been missing since losing Buster Posey for the season in May. They obtained outfielder Carlos Beltran from the New York Mets, in exchange for top pitching prospect Zach Wheeler.
In Beltran, the Giants received a resurgent bat, bouncing back from injury-filled 2009-2010 campaigns. Currently, the reigning World Series champs have the second fewest home runs and have scored the fewest amount of runs in the National League.
It remains to be seen just how long Beltran will be wearing the black and orange. He'll be a free agent at the end of the season, and with agent Scott Boras at his disposal, you can be sure that Beltran will be testing the market this offseason.
Erik Bedard: Boston Red Sox
This one came down to the wire, but at the 11th hour, the Boston Red Sox were able to acquire left-hander Erik Bedard from the Mariners in a three-team deal with the Dodgers. Bedard, who was out for a month with a knee injury, returned from the disabled list last Friday.
And despite a very poor outing, the Red Sox took a gamble, trading for him to help shore up the back end of their rotation. Of course, Bedard has plenty of experience pitching at Fenway Park, after spending parts of five seasons with the Baltimore Orioles.
Kosuke Fukudome: Cleveland Indians
Since arriving in the major leagues in 2008, outfielder Kosuke Fukudome has spent his entire career with the Chicago Cubs. And though he's been a steady bat for the better part of his time with the Cubbies, he never quite lived up to expectations.
And, at age 34, one had to wonder how many more years he had left in him before calling it a career. Well, the North Siders decided not to wait for that moment and shipped him off to the Cleveland Indians, who have been slammed with injuries to their outfielders.
Grady Sizemore and Shin Soo-Choo, however, are both expected to rejoin the Tribe within a few weeks, which would relegate Fukudome to a platoon/reserve role as the Indians make their push towards October.
His current four-year, $48 million contract is due to expire at the end of the 2011 season. So it remains to be seen just where (or if) he will be patrolling right field in 2012.
Mike Adams: Texas Rangers
To say that Mike Adams looks strange in his new Texas Rangers uniform can be a little misleading. Spending the last three-plus years of his career with the San Diego Padres as a relief pitcher, not many common baseball folk would recognize his face in any uniform.
But despite the mysterious face, Adams' arm has done all of the talking. Since joining the Padres in 2008, the right-hander has a 1.68 ERA, and WHIP under 1.000.
After setting up games for Heath Bell at pitcher-friendly PetCo Park, Adams now finds himself in the same role for the Rangers' Neftali Feliz in hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark.
He's under team control through the 2013 season, so it will be interesting to see if Adams can maintain his sparkling numbers, pitching in the Texas heat.
Derrek Lee: Pittsburgh Pirates
Seeing Derrek Lee in a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform is strange but not in the way you would think. Lee is now with his fifth Big League team and the second within the NL Central division.
But what is strange is seeing the Pirates acquiring a veteran bat to help them push towards a possible postseason birth. Entering play on Friday, the Bucs sit seven games out of first place in the very winnable central division.
And with the additions of veterans Lee and Ryan Ludwick, GM Neil Huntington has certainly put teams on notice that they are very much in this race and are ready to be a serious contender for the first time since 1992 (their last playoff appearance).